Our individual lives are our own . . .

Chyfrin walks under the morning sky
His greyness blends with the landscape
So that your eyes can never rest on him
He sits on a granite rock
At the edge of the lake

“Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Shaped thy fearful symmetry?
….. William Blake”

He removes an orange from a fold in his cloak
He starts to peel and eat the orange

“There is a flaw
In the symmetry of yin/yang pairs

the pair of Pleasure and Pain
there is a third option ~ Numb
Love and Hate ~ Indifference
Fear and Courage ~ Apathy
Passion and Apathy ~ Ignorance

The Universe is not obliged
To conform to our prejudices
To our desires for yin/yang answers”

Chyfrin sequesters the peel and seeds
Then draws a symbol in the sand
No one can translate it

“It sometimes seems
That the Nature of things
Is sloppy when doing her sums

Some are given money and good looks
Some have one or the other
Some have neither

Some find love
Well . . . theoretically
Though its hard to find documented cases . . .
I digress

Some love too much
And some love too little
And its never in the proportions
You would expect”

He picks up a stone
And casts it into the mirror smooth lake
Breaking the perfect symmetry

“As long as enough babies
Are born
Our individual lives
Are our own . . . “

Wouldn’t Trade it for the World

“How do you win this game?”
She asked

I can’t win
You change the rules
When I win
But I’d rather lose to you than to myself

what’s the secret here?”

Shhhhh . . .
We’re not allowed to say it
The secret is in another place
A place where you drop things
When you really don’t want to find them again
The secret is in a place where words are only
Pointing toward infinite meanings
But then I am using words right here
So I’ll stop
So that you can hear me

“All of us
get through childhood
trying to make sense of Life
and when we think we’ve got it
it’s most certain we don’t.”

Couldn’t have said it better with Yeats

“It really is a mess
when you think about it.”
She turns
Lost in thought

It’s only a mess if you think of it
with the other side of your mind
Symmetry can frighten even the
most callused
But it can also explain Night
to the Day

“You’d think with infinity being what it is
I could come up with something more than
this mess of mind.”

Your mind is a mess
like clouds on a spring afternoon
A mess like Mount Rainer
A mess like the Oceans in a storm

Oh I like the occasional chess match
And the odd differential equation
I like every other computer program written in C
And even a few haiku
But the wonder of you
The wonder of me

Wouldn’t trade it for the World

poetry is always a lie ~ but this is a very good lie

under a moon the size of the sky
he said

never trust to poets
for poetic justice is neither just nor poetic
poets lie with liquid lips
their farewells are never fair
and their good-byes are seldom good

overlooking a sea the size of love
he raised his hand
and lifted the oceans from their bed
revealing all the secret treasures hidden in the seas

he said
i have cried a million tears
and all my tears have not made one inch of difference in the seas
he lowered the waters and set them to moving again

he pulled stars into his hands and twisted them into a diamond chip sparkled flower
an ever-opening flower
convoluting and growing from the center

he said
the flower can not sing
it can only be beautiful to us in this place
i would not have it so

and he set the stars free like lightning bugs
on a warm West Virginia night

she said
teach me

he said
if you could turn the sky backward
rewriting those moments when you were hurt
do you think you would be the victor?

she said
because there can be no victory
only pain and death

he said
if you could bind you wounds and grow tens arm
becoming a goddess
do you think you would be happy?

she said
because happiness is not a thing that can be wrestled
or bound
or even properly talked about

he said
if you could change the weather?
if you could grow gold in the palm of your hand?
if you could forget all your suffering
would you?

she said nothing

he returned the sky to exactly the way the sky is
he returned the earth and sea to exactly what the earth and sea are
as he twisted something in his hands
he said
this is a poem
this is a lie

she said
it looks like an arrow

he said
and it is only beautiful in flight
make a bow

she said
i can’t

he said nothing

she said
this isn’t fair
you ask me to change the weather
to grow gold in the palm of my hand
forget all my suffering

how can i do these things?

he said
you have always had the power
but you have chosen to hide it from yourself
until you were ready to transition

she said
teach me to transition

he said
i can’t
you must figure this out for yourself

she said
you are a bad teacher

he said

she said
you promised. . .

he said
i never promised anything

she said
why won’t you help me?

he said
i am helping you
if i were to be your armor
i would keep you from experiences you need
if i were to protect you from the rain
you’d become a desert
if i were to sing you sweet songs
you’d lose your place in the dance

he turned and the wind played with his clothing
the way a playful dog might
with a gesture he made a bow the shape of the night sky

he said
i can not give you love
nor children
nor courage
nor reasons for the way of things

she said
then what good are you?

he notched the poem that is an arrow
pulled it back on the bow let let it fly screaming into the belly of Nux

he let the bow slip form his hands
he laughed a snort then
held his hand out palm down
turned it over
in his hand is a piece of paper
this poem is written on it

he says
poetry is always a lie
but this is a very good lie

the garden gate’s remark

down the path
murky and lined with the weeds of regret

a broken face
a door ajar
a mouth of the past
the window agape

the tongue of curtain
ripped and ragged
flicking in and out
over broken teeth of glass

the garden gate’s remark
to the passing spring wind

The Anecdote of God and the Cardboard Men

Rainy day in heaven
God is making cardboard men

First angels bring in those
huge corrugated sheets
the color of brown noise
He begins
building a figure by tearing the cardboard
with his bear hands
Thinks about it
Tears up the first pattern and builds
a new figure out of the debris of the first
Thinks about it some more
Builds a companion
Arranges them so that they appear to be engaged
in conversation

He takes their picture

Now new figures
One lies reclining on the floor
another leaning back to see the sky
yet another doing something . . . beyond description
Now there is grainy brown a sea of indistinguishable
interchangeable heads, torsos and hands
engaging in all manner of gesture
Exploring every possible nuance of two dimensional gesticulation

Now there is nothing but cardboard strewn
He talks to them
the cardboard men that no longer exist
or is he talking to himself

He is silent
in a silent room
Then calls to his angels
and they bring in those
huge corrugated sheets
the color of brown noise

I kick off my dusty shoes

the east
splits into earth and sky
and beyond the grey/red crack
in the world
an unknown sun
hastens to this place
this desert place
that has known far too many
relentless suns

a night creature now
I remember long years ago
when I rose with the dawn
pale and fresh
but that was another place
another time
where the suns were kinder

I kick off my dusty shoes
and go inside
to sleep